It was my dream to trend on Twitter, says world champ Nikhat Zareen

After becoming only the fifth Indian boxer to become the world champion, Nikat Zarin, 25, has spoken about her dream of being in the Olympics.

Excerpts from her press conference after her victory.

On her win and predictions

God willing, I will work hard like this and try my best to win a medal in the Paris Olympics. I would like to dedicate this medal to all my compatriots who have supported me throughout my career. Am I trending on Twitter? My dream has always been to be a cheerleader on Twitter and to achieve something for my country on a global level is the biggest motivator.

On the challenges of the past two years

The last two years have been really hard for every boxer because we weren’t able to train because of Covid-19. I was doing individual training because I have a gym in my house. But yes, after all those hardships and challenges, I am there today as a world champion. I’m glad I was able to win the gold for the country. At the moment the preparations for Paris 2024 have begun, but I will focus by seeing it as one competition after another step by step.

About winning the first world championship title 11 years after winning the world youth title in Turkey

Turkey has been lucky for me and I won the world youth title here and I also won a medal at the Bosphorus International last year here. So I am happy to make her lucky for the third time here. Becoming world champion is my best memory from here. Regarding the Olympic weight category, I still haven’t thought about whether it will be 50kg or 54kg at the Olympics. In the CWG trials, I will compete at 50kg and I will prepare for that weight and try to maintain that weight class.

About changing the weight class for the 2024 Paris Olympics

It’s hard to change a weight category whether you move to the weight division or you move to the weight division. It’s more difficult when one goes from a lower weight to a higher weight because you are at a disadvantage where other boxers are a little heavier because they bring in that weight by losing weight. So one encounters more powerful boxers. I think if I played in the 50kg class, it wouldn’t make much of a difference. Normally my weight remains 51.51.5kg, so my body will function well at 50kg. So for some time, I will continue in the 50kg weight division.

About thoughts on final day and parental reaction

I just thought of giving my best. My goal was to win by unanimous decision if possible because it could have gone either way in a split decision. So I didn’t take any chances and wanted to play attacking in the first two rounds and relax a bit in the third. But today’s second round was divided. So I had to do everything I could in the third round and I’m glad I managed to win. My parents were an inspiration to me, whenever I won, my mom would read me namaz and pray that her daughter would win. My father was very supportive of my game. When I had hard times after my injury or after my absence in trials, my parents’ support was even greater and they never left me.

On the absence of the Tokyo Olympic qualifiers and the opportunity to go to Tokyo

During these two years, I focused only on my game and regardless of the weaknesses in the game, I tried to improve it. I worked on my strengths and what I lacked in the game. Jis cheez pe kam karna tha, usi pe kam kia hai, apne aap ko strong banaya hai. (I’ve worked on the aspects where I need to work and made myself strong.) All those obstacles I faced in my career made me strong. I am mentally strong after all this and my thought process is that whatever happens, I have to fight and do my best.

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